SPONSORED POST from Open To All:
In the context of a nation rocked by racial discrimination at levels unseen in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 5th in a case that could gut not only state nondiscrimination laws but also erode the Civil Rights Act—and turn back the clock to a time when businesses could tell people, “we don’t serve your kind here.”
In response, a broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), civil rights, racial justice and allied organizations have launched Open to All, a national campaign to focus attention on the far-reaching, dangerous risks of the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.
In 2012, a gay couple was denied service when they attempted to purchase a cake for their wedding reception. The bakery argues that businesses with a “creative” element should be allowed to refuse service to some people in violation of laws against discrimination. Yet despite the high stakes of the case, it has received relatively little media attention.
“If the Supreme Court gives businesses a constitutional right to discriminate, it would have implications that reach far beyond bakeries,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). “If the Court carves out a broad exemption in nondiscrimination laws for so-called ‘creative’ enterprises, we could see an explosion of discrimination by restaurants, hair salons, event venues, funeral parlors and more. And the impact of such a decision wouldn’t be limited to LGBT people; it could be used to allow discrimination against people of color, women, minority faiths, people with disabilities, and others.”
The Open to All campaign is supported by more than 75 organizations, including MAP, the ACLU, Color of Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and Freedom for All Americans. A full list of supporting organizations can be found here.
In addition to the ads, the site includes two new MAP resources (link) on the damaging implications of the Masterpiece case, Understanding Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Issue Brief: The Broader Danger of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case.
The site also features a social media graphics sharing section where users can spread the word and build conversations about the campaign through one-click sharing to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms—as well as a comprehensive list of amicus briefs filed in support of the couple who was discriminated against in this case. Among them, briefs filed by: leading racial justice legal and advocacy organizations, 211 members of Congress, 15 faith and civil rights organizations, 37 leading businesses and organizations, and many others.
Open to All is nationwide public engagement campaign to build understanding and discussion about the importance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws—and the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All. For more information and resources, visit Open To All. You can also find the campaign on social media at @OpentoAllofUS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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